Locked In (2023) Review – Entertaining enough B-thriller elevated by a talented cast

By Lori Meek
Published: November 2, 2023 (Last updated: November 9, 2023)
Locked In Review
Locked In | Image via Netflix


Most of the cast do a decent job with the script they’ve been given. However, the story plays like a predictable, if somewhat confusing, family melodrama.

Locked In (2023) is a straight-to-Netflix British B-thriller with all the guilty pleasure elements you would expect from the genre. There’s a remote mansion, a washed-up actress, romance, murder, and a sleuthing nurse. 

The movie marks Nour Wazzi’s directorial debut and features a surprisingly strong cast led by How to Get Away with Murder’s Famke Janssen and Reign’s Rose Williams. While this is not a masterpiece, the film’s cast and gritty atmosphere make it an entertaining watch. 

Locked In (2023) review and plot summary

Locked In starts with Katherine’s (Janssen) frightening point of view. An incident left her unable to speak or move her body. She is, however, able to indicate that her injuries were the result of an attempted murder. Her nurse, Nicky (Anna Friel), is unusually invested in getting to the truth of what happened to her patient. 

The film uses a lot of flashbacks, jumping between the present and the events leading up to Katherine’s injuries. We meet her adopted daughter/daughter-in-law, Lina (Williams), and learn of the two women’s history. 

Immediately after Lina’s mother died, the former actress Katherine took her in. Since her husband’s death, Katherine found herself caring for her sickly stepson Jamie (Finn Cole), who was set to inherit all of his father’s wealth. Unsurprisingly, this caused some resentment in the woman’s relationship with the boy.

RELATED: Where was Locked In filmed?

At first, Lina worships Katherine, so she takes the role of Jamie’s caregiver upon herself and eventually reluctantly agrees to marry him. 

For poor Lina, life at the manor is far from rosy. Her mother-in-law despises her, and her husband uses his illness to keep her subservient to him. But when Lina starts an affair with the family’s GP, Robert (Alex Hassell), everything changes. 

The underlying mystery throughout the runtime is not whether Lina was involved in Katherine’s unfortunate state, but how deep her involvement was. From the start, we get a sense of the young woman’s complicated relationship with her mother-in-law. And Rose Williams does a good enough job of keeping Lina’s true character ambiguous, up until the very end. 

Most of the performances are convincing enough, and Janssen, in particular, has a way of conveying emotions just by using her eyes. Friel is also endearing in her role of sleuthing nurse, but I failed to see the point of her character, who’s mostly there for exposition purposes. 

Should you stream Locked In?

The narrative itself is a run-of-the-mill predictable thriller. There are also quite a few plot holes and scenes that don’t make as much sense as they should. For example, the film keeps drumming this message about how deep the bond between Lina and Katherine goes, yet fails to show us scenes where these two women are even remotely nice to each other. 

The affair between Lina and the doctor also seems out of place. The lack of chemistry between the two actors doesn’t help there.

Locked In is the type of made-for-TV thriller you’d expect to catch on Lifetime on a Friday night. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s got a great cast, an easy-to-follow yet engaging story, a thrilling atmosphere, and a soothingly predictable plot; the perfect guilty pleasure. 

What did you think of Netflix’s Locked In (2023)? Comment below.


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